Highland Park Planet reporter Jonathan Cantor will be doing Q&A interviews with Highland Park School administrators, teaching faculty and staff to celebrate the diversity and excellence of the school system. Please email editor Pam Hersh with your suggestions for these interview features: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Principal, Irving Primary School
- Motivating core principle: children between the ages of three and seven are experiencing an exceptionally special time in their lives from an educational perspective. Learning is occurring at a much faster rate and with greater intensity than at other points in their lives. New experiences are an everyday occurrence.
- Fifteen years of experience in education previous to her current employment.
- Bachelor’s Degree in education at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ.
- Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.
- Kindergarten teacher for three years in Newark, NJ.
- First grade teacher for 13 years in Randolph, NJ.
Q: Where do you currently live?
A: Hoboken, NJ
Q: Is that a hard commute?
A: No, it’s not a bad commute at all. it takes about an hour, and I enjoy living in Hoboken because my parents live there and I get to visit them often.
Q: Why do you love what you do?
A: I love working with kids! Especially kids in this age group (three to seven years old). It’s a really unique time in their lives and it’s a pleasure to watch them experience it. They get to absorb a great deal of love and learning while growing at a very rapid pace. Every day, I get to see a child discover something new for themselves. Plus the kids make me smile every day.
Q: Are there any particularly amusing things that have happened to you since being hired in the spring of last year as principal of Irving Primary School?
A: Well I’m aware that my last name is not the easiest last name to pronounce. It was very amusing to watch the children trying to get it right. They came up with all sorts of amusing variations. Now the kids mostly all call me Principal “W” which is easier.
Q: What are some of the challenges of your job that you have faced since taking on the new job?
A: When I started the job I actually started in May 2014, and there were only four weeks left in the school year. It was hard, because I had just met everyone, and then a month later the kids left for summer vacation. That summer I was really anxious to get started. I could hardly wait to start working with all my new co-workers and to become friends with all of the students. When the school year started up again in September, I was more than ready to hit the ground running and re-meet everyone.
Q: What makes Highland Park a great place for these students and their families?
A: The area and the resources it provides. Irving Primary School students get to go on of trips. There are a vast amount of options for trips located in Highland Park. The area is safe, community and family friendly, parks are close enough to our school that we can all walk to them, and recently the kids got to watch the Veterans Day Parade. The fact that we can walk to events like this speaks positively to Highland Parks general environment.